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Buyers Tips

Prefabricated Steel Buildings

Many manufacturers and other sellers of prefabricated steel buildings generally do not sell buildings from inventory, but arrange for the manufacture of the building and other components after an order has been placed by the customer. Some companies in this industry use a two-step sales process in which the initial sale is limited to a building shell consisting of structural components, walls and roof, but not most items that involve additional cost, such as door and window openings, doors, windows, insulation, gutters, downspouts and design modifications. In the two-step process employed by some sellers of these buildings, these items are addressed after the initial contract is signed and a non-refundable deposit is made. Persons not familiar with these items are sometimes surprised by their cost. Consumers asked to sign a contract are urged to read it carefully, particularly as to refundability of deposits, responsibility for compliance with building and zoning codes, items included in the sale and other matters that may be of concern.

Advertising claims by sellers of pre-engineered steel buildings of substantial cost savings may be accurate as they pertain to the building shell, consisting of structural members, walls and roof. In general, the other items required, including the building foundation, doors, windows, insulation, gutters, and downspouts do not involve any inherent cost savings from similar items used in conventional construction.

When purchasing any type of prefabricated metal building, or a prefab metal building "kit", there could be eight types of additional costs that affect your purchase decision.

1. Concrete Foundation
2. Additional Doors
3. Permits
4. Land
5. Land Preparation
6. Delivery
7. Erection
8. Taxes

Other costs to consider are electricity, plumbing, insulation and interior finishing. Keep in mind that if purchasing a "kit", that it is just one part of the overall construction costs.

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